Tag Archives: mac and cheese

Southwestern Mac and Cheese

It’s no secret that kids love mac and cheese, but it’s not exactly a well-balanced, healthy meal on its own. So I’m always looking for ways to sneak in the good stuff under cover of cheesy goodness. I recently used the sun-dried tomato mozzarella Laughing Cow Light cheese in pasta and added spinach and chicken to make it a meal.

Below, I use the Queso Chipotle variety to make a yummy southwestern mac and cheese. You can use whatever veggies and/or meat you want to really make this a meal your family will love!

Southwestern Mac and Cheese

12 oz veggie pasta
4 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Queso Chipotle cheese
¼ cup skim milk
1 cup corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup canned or fresh chopped tomatoes
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Olive oil

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.

2.  In a large sauté pan, heat about a ½ tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until nearly done. Stir in the mushrooms and continue cooking until the chicken is done all the way through.

3. Turn the heat to medium-low and add in the pasta, corn, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, and milk. Combine all the ingredients and continue stirring until the cheese has melted and everything is heated through.

Note: You can save a bit of time by using frozen, cooked grilled chicken strips, such as Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken. You will still need to sauté it until it’s heated through, but it should only take 2-3 minutes.


Mac and Cheese Bites

I made these for the Super Bowl yesterday and they were both delicious and a huge hit with my two year old! I adapted this recipe from Annie’s Eats (LOVE her blog, by the way—you must visit). I made several changes to make these babies a little healthier, so go ahead—pop a few more. Hope you enjoy!

Mac and Cheese Bites
Yield: 48 mini bites

12 oz vegetable macaroni (like Safeway’s Eating Right Veggie Pasta)
1 ½ cups Reduced Fat Ritz Cracker crumbs
2 ½ cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
6 tbsp butter, melted
7 wedges Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup skim milk
¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray mini muffin pans lightly with cooking spray. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the box.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, ½ cup of the cheddar cheese, and the 6 tbsp of melted butter. Spoon a bit of the crumb mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, and press down with your fingers to form the bottom crust.

3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the cheddar cheese, butter, and Laughing Cow wedges.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and yogurt, and then stir it into the pasta.

5. Add salt and pepper to the pasta mixture and stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

6. Spoon the pasta mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow the mac and cheese bites to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.